Biotechnology involves using living organisms or other biological systems to develop and manufacture medications or other products. If you love chemistry and biology, you could enjoy a career as a biotechnology engineer. Biotechnology is a growing field. It has the potential to solve many sicknesses and environmental problems.
Why Become A Biotechnology Engineer
Becoming a biotechnology engineer is a great profession for those who love science and want to help others. This rewarding occupation offers solutions to many of the world’s issues; microorganisms are often used to clean up oil spills and vaccines are formulated using a live virus. Another name for this career is biotechnologist. Additionally, this is a great field for those who want to be involved in a medical career but wish to work “behind the scenes” as a researcher. Many often have “pet projects” that they receive grants and other award money in order to pursue private research.
Biotechnology Engineer Work Environment
Most biotechnology engineers work in a lab environment. The actual lab may vary depending on the industry. However, some in the industry also work in academia. They teach college level science courses. Many are employed by pharmaceutical companies. Others may work on their own as independent researchers. As you can see, environment is primarily determined by whether you want to be involved in research or teaching.
Biotechnology Engineer Salary
When we look at salary for biotechnology engineers, it’s important to note two things. First, industry matters. Someone who is involved in biomedical development will receive a different salary than someone who is only involved in biochemistry. Second, experience and education matter. An entry level biotechnologist will make less than someone with ten years of experience.
Since you are most likely not in the field, we will focus on entry level salaries. Entry level is generally defined as having zero to two years of work experience in that particular field. An entry level biomedical engineer has a median salary of around $51,000.00. An entry level biochemist receives an average salary of around $47,778.00. A biomedical engineering technician makes a median salary of around $57,580. If biotechnology interests you, then you should research the salary level for your specific area.
Other factors for salary include the size and type of company and cost of living. Sometimes employers offer a salary based on the grades you received in college. It’s important to take those factors under advisement during the salary negotiation process.
Biotechnology Engineer Career Outlook
The Occupational Outlook Handbook gives an estimate that jobs within the field of biotechnology will grow as much as 27%. That is considered much faster than average when compared to other fields. This is close to 20,000 jobs. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Biotechnology Engineer Degree
To start your career as a biotechnology engineer, you must first get your Bachelor’s degree. You can focus on chemistry, biology, or any form of organic science. Some colleges offer degrees in biomedical engineering as well. For many entry level jobs in the field, a four year degree is the only requirement. Graduate degrees are available for this field. This is particularly true if you decide that you want to pursue independent study or research.